FITIS champions national digital economy in 2023/2024

Thursday, 2 May 2024 02:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chairman Indika De Zoysa
Senior Vice Chairman Dr. Dayan Rajapakse
Vice Chairman Channa De Silva
Vice Chairman Thariq Sanoon

The Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), the apex body of the ICT industry, is continuing to assist the Government of Sri Lanka in its journey towards the Digital Transformation. Working very closely with the Ministry of Technology, FITIS contributed to the formulation of National Digital Economy Strategy – 2030 since its inception through representations in the Thematic Working Groups. Through its campaign “Fuelling the Digital Economy”, FITIS has carried out several events and activities during the past year in support of popularising the adoption of digital technologies. FITIS has committed to improve the Digital Economy to $ 15 billion from current $ 4 billion.

National ICT Expo INFOTEL – 2023 was a major event carried out by FITIS in November 2023. This is the country’s premier ICT Expo showcasing the newest digital technologies and their applications. Opened by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, this attracted many ICT entrepreneurs, professionals, students and the general public during the three days of the event.

Held on 16 November 2023, another significant event was the API ASIA – 2023 under the topics AI, Smart Cities and Fintech. Both local and foreign experts presented the use of new technologies at this event. This forum mainly focused on how different Systems could be integrated for safe sharing and processing of data through the use of APIs. This is a necessity in the process of digital transformation.

Sri Lanka has over one million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) contributing to the economy. However, majority of these industries still use traditional mechanisms in their business operations, limiting their expansion and the reach to global market. FITIS has initiated the “DigiGo” program for these MSMEs to embrace digital techniques and technologies which will enable them to improve and expand their businesses. The first DigiGo event was held successfully at the Galle Fort area on 20 October 2023 with the participation of approximately 100 MSMEs. FITIS, in collaboration with Ministry of Technology, is now planning to expand this program to cover the entire country in phases.

“Young Computer Scientist” (YCS) is an activity conducted by FITIS annually in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and University of Colombo School of Computing. This program is aimed at encouraging school children to engage in ICT applications. The YCS – 2023 attracted close to 1,700 schools. This competition also produced two merit winners in the Asia Pacific IT Awards 2023 held in Hong Kong. YCS – 2024 has now been launched and the applications from the schools will be called shortly.

FITIS is also involved in up skilling and reskilling IT training programs to develop a competent work force required by the ICT Industry in Sri Lanka. These programs will provide opportunities to non-IT youth to be employed in the IT Sector. FITIS works very closely with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment in this activity.

Apart from the above events and activities, FITIS also conducted following events.

Technology Channel Forum: Held on 23 January 2023, this forum recognised the individuals who have contributed to the development of ICT Industry.

Digital Excellence Awards: These awards are presented to companies for their efforts in the digitalisation process, based on various categories.

International Education Forum: Held on 1 November 2023, parallel to INFOTEL – 2023, this forum focused on the avenues available to pursue higher education.

Open Forum: Held on 2 April 2024, the forum discussed the challenges faced by the ICT Industry with relevant Government authorities. Representatives from Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Sri Lanka Customs and Inland Revenue Department attended the discussion.

FITIS is planning a series of events and activities for the rest of the year 2024. These will include annual major events such as INFOTEL, API ASIA and regional events such as DigiGO, Mini INFOTEL etc. These events are aimed at promoting the digital technology at national and regional levels. Working with the Government authorities and the other private sector organisations, FITIS is confident that the elevation of country’s global ranking in digitalisation and the achieving the target of $ 15 billion will become a reality.